GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares fall after data, ECB disappoint

  • Business
  • Friday, 04 May 2012

SINGAPORE(Reuters): Asian shares fell for a second successive day on Friday as another batch of lacklustre U.S. data stoked concerns that the recovery in the world's biggest economy is faltering.

The euro was steady after a bumpy session on Thursday, when European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi gave a more upbeat assessment of the region's battered economy, reducing hopes of further monetary stimulus measures in the pipeline.

"Investors were hoping to see stronger hints of further easing from the (European Central Bank) to offset the weak data, but came out empty-handed," said Kwak Jung-bo, an analyst at Samsung Securities in Seoul.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 percent, with Australian shares down 0.3 percent. Tokyo markets were closed for a holiday.

Wall Street stocks had fallen on Thursday after a survey showed tepid growth in the U.S. services sector.

That combined with data from the previous day showing a slowdown in private sector hiring, raising concerns that the recovery that drove equity markets higher in the first part of 2012 is stalling and throwing more attention on the April non-farm payrolls labour market report due later on Friday.

The euro traded around $1.3145, down a touch on the day, while gold held steady around $1,636 an ounce.

Oil was also steady after tumbling in the previous session on the shaky data and a build-up in U.S. inventories. Brent crude fell 0.1 percent to below $116 a barrel, while U.S. crude was virtually unchanged at $102.55.

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